What’s the difference between a mere wish and an all consuming desire?
A few years back, I produced a documentary film about a burn survivor from Romania. The film tells the story of a young eight-year old boy named Marius, who was caught in a terrible house fire that not only took the lives of his parents, but also burned away all 10 of his fingers, burned away his nose, and seared his eyelids so he could no longer easily blink. All in all, he had 3rd and 4th degree burns over 75% of his body.
When I first heard the story, I knew it was compelling and I wanted so badly to tell it. I jumped through incredible hoops in order to make it happen–challenges ranging from simply contacting his families and getting them on board with the project, to (almost) being denied graduation because of my involvement with the project. (Funny how thrilled they were to be involved with the project when the film won more and “bigger” awards than any other film in the history of the college/program But that’s another story for another day.
The point is – I knew what I wanted – I wanted to…I HAD to tell that story. And I did whatever it took. I dreamed about it. I thought about it constantly. Every aspect of the story and the project completely consumed my thoughts.
That’s not to say that I had periods where I wasn’t sure if I could, or even should continue. I remember one time in particular, I sat thinking about the project in a special place, where I could tune out all other distractions. I was in Los Angeles on a trip to film updates for the project, and it just felt hopeless. Things weren’t going right. I had spent too much money. We were supposed to release the film in just under two months, and it felt like we were farther away than we were when we started. [Due to our/my inexperience, we had to re-film a number of interviews and pieces over and over because we messed up the settings. Despite having learned how to use a video camera and video editing software, I decided to change it up a bit…and learn how to film with a DSLR camera, and edit with new software, all as part of this project. Ambitious? Yes. Stupid? Probably. Effective? Well, we got the job done.] In that quiet moment, I caught a glimpse of what the film could be–not what it currently was. I reignited my desire for the project. We HAD to make it happen. I planned on finishing the film in time for the “premiere” at school, and we went to work and made the goal–barely. On the day of, we had some glitches with the film because of a technical error. The film finished “exporting” (compiling) for the third time that day – a few moments before we were scheduled to start. More than 800 people from around Salt Lake and Utah Counties came to the show. The film and the story was featured in a number of news outlets, and less than a year later, won a College Television Award (known informally as a College or Student Emmy) from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation – the same organization that awards The Emmy Awards every year.
THAT is the power of desire. The project ended up bigger and better than I could have ever dreamed. It all started with a desire. Now, while I may have gone overboard a little bit (I do have a tendency to do that), the principle remains the same. Desire, or as Napoleon Hill in “Think and Grow Rich” says, “Definite Desire” is a massive power in helping a man/woman accomplish his/her dreams.
It’s easy to say you want something, but what is it that you truly desire? What are you willing to fight for? What is so important to you, that you’re willing to pursue without abandon? To get up when you fall? To mess up A TON…and keep working at it until you figure it out and get it RIGHT?
“But Mark, I don’t feel that way about anything? I’m not quite sure what to focus on…there’s all these choices…and I don’t feel particularly strong about any of them.”
Well my friend, that definitely sounds like a problem. Even worse – it’s a personal problem. There’s nothing “I” can do to help you. You’re pretty much screwed.
UNLESS – you decide to do something about it.
See, desire isn’t something that just “happens”. It’s not something that some people are given, and others aren’t. You have total control as to what your desire is. YOU choose. You make it grow, and YOU make it fade.
That’s a little scary though, isn’t it? To think that you have to – get to take responsibility for yourself. I get to take complete and total responsibility for myself too. It sucks…and yet it’s completely awesome too. And I really wouldn’t want it any other way.
I am in control of my attitude – it doesn’t have to be determined based on what side of the bed I woke up on. I’m in control of my desire – I don’t have to just wait until I want something enough – I can create that desire day by day. “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”
So, what is it that YOU desire? And what are you going to do about it?
Let me know how I can help.